The NT Live screening of Hedda Gabler brings us a bleak, sparse and shattering version of Ibsen’s classic play, written in 1891.
Under Ivo Van Hove’s assured direction, the play is updated to now, with a crisp, supple translation by Patrick Marber that makes it seem new and vivid .
The set is an almost bare, anonymous apartment in the inner city, in the middle of renovation. There are vertical blinds, a fridge and a security camera at the door. Jan Verswyveld‘s lighting is splendid.
The soundscape features a mix of popular songs including Joni Mitchell’s classic ballad Blue all of which go to depicting a person in crisis.
One of Henrik Ibsen’s most famous works, A Doll’s House tells the story of Nora, a ‘modern-day’ housewife under the naïve opinion that she and her family are content with their lives. Her husband, Torvald, thinks her careless and childlike, but Nora is keeping something secret from her husband that could lead to tragedy for both of them.
Going off Isben’s belief that “a woman cannot be herself in modern society”, this production will be styled with a 1950’s aesthetic to draw focus on the traditional gender rolls being forced up Nora and to play with the notion of a “modern society” (à la The Stepford Wives). While the setting and costume design will be in the style of 1950’s suburban fashion, the play will not be set in any particular time period.
Preview: 11th October
Show Dates: 12th – 15th & 19th – 22nd October
Location: Lighthouse Theatre, Macquarie University
Director: Lakia Lyons
Producer: Jo Finnis
Nora Helmer – Jennifer Hicks
Torvald Helmer – Adam Roberts
Niles Krogstad – Jim Southwell
Kristine Linde – Amy Dunn
Dr Rank – Sam Howes
Anne Marie – Taylor Musa
SEASON DETAILS :-
12th – 15th & 19th – 22nd October @ 7:30pm @ Macquarie University, North Ryde.
In stark, and it has to be said refreshing contrast to the recent radical approach by other directors to classic works, Adam Cook plays his Doll’s House with a very straight bat. The play is performed in its time period and the plot-lines are strictly adhered to in his concise adaptation. His creative team, designer Hugh O’Connor, and lighting man Gavan Swift bring the play’s world vividly to life.
The hallmark of this production is how strongly the bold, cathartic nature of Nora’s journey is conveyed. Leading a uniformly strong cast, Matilda Ridgway as Nora takes the audience all the way with her to her chilling epiphany. It is then when Nora realises that she has spent her entire playing roles, being the dutiful child, the sweet wife, the doting mother and it is now time for her to throw off all her roles and find her own way in the world.
Iconclastic Nora exits stage left, leaving Torvald transfixed, and the other characters left to play out their roles, secure in their insecurities. Torvald (Douglas Henshall) will continue to be the straightlaced bank manager. Nils Krogstad (Anthony Gooley) will remain a shifty character, trying to get the best deal. Nora’s childhood friend Kristen Linde (Francesca Savige) will live in a compromised life with Krogstad so that she can keep the debtors from her door. Ever dutiful family friend Dr Rank (Barry French) has decided to face his final days alone, a proud man to the very end. The maid Helen (Annie Byron) will continue to be the good natured maid and carer to the two children.
Another strong showing by Sport for Jove, A DOLL’S HOUSE opened at the Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre on Saturday July 18 and plays until Saturday August 2..